Dewey Baby's Home Checked By DHS 6 Months Before Her Death

Monday, February 27th 2012, 5:41 pm
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Dewey Police are investigating how a 15-month-old baby girl died. Officers say Emma Beth Warmberodt was dead when paramedics arrived at her home.

The Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.

It wasn't the first time authorities had to worry about little Emma Beth. The Department of Human Services checked on baby Emma about six months ago.

No charges were filed, and she was not removed from the home.

Paramedics found 15-month-old Emma Beth Warmberodt unresponsive on the porch.

Neighbors like Jerry Gehle watched in horror as paramedics tried to revive the little girl. She had trauma to the chest, bruises on her head and showed signs of child abuse.

"You could tell it was gone," he said. "You think you know everything and you know everybody, and you don't really know nothing."

2/25/2012 Related Story: 15-Month-Old Girl Found Dead In Dewey Identified

Dewey's police chief says an elderly woman and three couples lived in the house with Emma. Next door neighbor Cheryl Johnson says there were always people and kids coming in and out of the house.

"I've been uncomfortable living by them for quite some time now," she said. 

But Johnson says she had no idea the house was on DHS's radar about six months ago.

The Washington County District Attorney couldn't tell us why DHS checked on the home, but says the visit was not related to what happened to Emma. He says at the time, DHS found nothing that would cause authorities to worry Emma's life was in danger, so his office was not notified.

"It doesn't surprise me, but I'm a little disappointed in DHS because of some other situations with the young babies that - it just seems they weren't alert enough. They didn't get there quick enough," neighbor Cheryl Johnson said.

The DA says he has no reason to believe drugs were involved.

The OSBI and Dewey Police questioned everyone who was inside the home when Emma was found dead, but officers have not made any arrests.

We asked DHS why workers visited the home.

A spokesperson says DHS cannot release any reports from prior visits until someone is charged in little Emma's death.